CHF International Actively Begins Next Phase of Recovery in Haiti

Jan 27, 2010, 12:16 ET from CHF International


SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CHF International (CHF), the Silver Spring, MD-based international development and humanitarian assistance organization, today announced additional details regarding the organization's next phase of work in Haiti, following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake on January 12.

With the help of CHF corporate partners Caterpillar, and their Haitian dealer Haytrac, heavy machinery is already being used to clear debris from key transport routes through Port-au-Prince. CHF has already partnered with local authorities to identify priority sites that need to be cleared by the CHF-Caterpillar team.

As of Monday, CHF International had already cleared 17 sites in the area of Delmas, Port-au-Prince – equating to 148 truckloads and 73,000 cubic feet of debris.

"As we pulled the rubble and debris away, personal objects such as photos, shoes, broken ceramic statues, and even a Christmas tree served as reminders that we weren't just removing piles of rubble, but broken pieces of people's lives," noted Kristie van de Wetering, spokesperson for CHF International from the ground in Haiti. "It was clear, in the atmosphere that people had died in that rubble, and that our job was to help the remaining survivors put some of the pieces back together.  As with many of our recovery projects, the whole process has been quite humbling for us all."

The debris removal work began on Thursday, January 21 and is expected to continue for a several weeks. CHF's team of engineers and mobilizers accompanied Caterpillar operators to work with the Mayor of Delmas to remove rubble in critical points in the city to clear up road access.

In addition to the ongoing debris removal work, CHF will begin working directly with the Haitian people within target communities to set up "Cash for Work" activities to run the next few months, allowing survivors to assist in the clean up while accessing necessary income to help their own families rebuild. CHF International's Cash for Work program will be essential to the recovery process as it gets people back to work and puts needed money in the Haitian people's hands. It also provides them with new skills that can continue to sustain them for the future.

"At CHF, our commitment goes far beyond a response to immediate needs, to genuine redevelopment and long-term sustainable thinking," added van de Wetering. "When the needs in Haiti disappear from the front pages and the headlines, this country will still need so much help, and we intend to be there to provide it."

CHF International's greatest expertise as a humanitarian assistance and relief organization is in rebuilding livelihoods through job creation, transitional shelters and infrastructure development, proven by their work following the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia and the 2009 Gaza conflict. In the coming months, CHF will focus on the needs of the Haitian people as they transition from basic survival to recovery.  

CHF International is also playing a lead role in addressing the housing needs of Haitians who have been made homeless. CHF's team of experts is working with the Haitian government and other NGOs to develop a strategy for transitional shelters built with local materials, which can house displaced residents for up to one year while more permanent housing is sought.  

Since 2006, CHF's team has been undertaking the largest USAID-funded infrastructure rehabilitation and job creation program in Haiti, and has focused many of its efforts on repairing vital infrastructure damaged in the 2008 tropical storm season.

Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake magnitude 7.0 just before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12. The earthquake struck 10 miles west of Port-au-Prince, the densely populated capital city. As of January 24th, the death toll was over 150,000 in the Port-au-Prince area alone, according to Communications Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue.


CHF International is an international development and humanitarian assistance organization, currently working in more than 25 countries around the world. The organization's mission is to be a catalyst for long-lasting positive change in low- and moderate-income communities around the world, helping them to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions. CHF International programs are community-led initiatives designed to build a better world.  For more information, visit

SOURCE CHF International